How I Chose Actuarial Science

One day while I was checking my university’s catalog when I was provisionally accepted, I found a degree called “bachelor of science in actuarial science.” At first I said, “what the heck is a-c-t-u-a-r-i-a-l science about?” I thought that it might be related to natural and life sciences. I found that this degree includes 20 math courses plus a couple of courses in finance, economics, accounting, and computer science. After researching, I discovered that an “actuary”, which is the profession itself, is ranked as the best job in many renowned business-related websites.

At the time, I was considering business administration because I wanted to become either a consultant or an investment banker. When I went to the campus’s career advising office, they mentioned that becoming an investment banker or a consultant doesn’t require a BBA degree and that some science and engineering (or even literature!) students join these fields after graduation.

I decided to gain the interpersonal, leadership, and communication skills through participating in extracurricular activities and internships. Academically, I was confused between economics, business with a concentration in finance, and actuarial science. I wanted to study something that applies mathematics/statistics into finance and economics because I like math and because the twenty first century is more dynamic than before as it requires quantitative analysis to track everything. After reading about actuarial science, I realized that an actuary can assess, track, monitor, and manage risk.

During my freshman year orientation program, I talked to some professors from the mathematics department who told me that actuarial science prepares the students to become actuaries and it also prepares the students who are interested in financial engineering.

I did know that there are challenging exams that take years to pass to become a certified actuary. I found that the actuarial science major counts for the VEE credits and that the major’s courses prepare for the exams. I took the calculus mainstream courses and I took the FM exam’s related course in fall 2013 (I was a sophomore at that time and currently I am a junior). After taking the course, I decided to register for February 2014’s sitting. As of the end of January, I was done with the ASM manual problems and was ready to start practicing.

My goal is to become an associate before graduating and I intend to pursue my graduate studies in a field related to risk management and quantitative analysis. Actuarial science (the field itself) doesn’t require people who solely maintain a 150+ IQ score or people who are geniuses. It requires people who are very determined and hard working who can wisely make use of their capabilities, knowledge and skills to either earn designations or manage risk. If you have the potential to learn objectively and think critically with minimal procrastinating, you might one day become a renowned actuarial expert who positively impacts humanity.